Once a Bride | The Journey Fashion Festival
"New York Fashion Week has always worked for only a few privileged designers and also has excluded the public.
"So I created a multi-cultural event to introduce designers from around the world. It’s called The Journey Fashion Festival, and we launched it at New York’s Mercedes Club.
"We introduced our first fashion show with tango dancing couples in the latest fashions from our designers."
Once a Bride … Always a Bride
As a bride, you’re learning the art of juggling schedules, choosing vendors, negotiating contracts, and planning activities to the precise minute. Let’s face it, you’re developing new skills and insights that you can use in many ways. I love fashion, and here’s a new project I am doing.
New York Fashion Week has always worked for only a few privileged designers and also has excluded the public. So I created a multi-cultural event to introduce designers from around the world. It’s called The Journey Fashion Festival, and we launched it at New York’s Mercedes Club. The Festival gives foreign designers a stage where they can showcase their collections.
The idea is to give both established and emerging international designers a high-profile presence during Fashion Week. At the same time, I wanted to offer a new format, an exciting show instead of another straightforward walk down the aisle.
We introduced our first fashion show with tango dancing couples in the latest fashions from our designers. Then we segued into choreographed routines featuring models strutting on the venue’s unique outdoor stage. The show had our excited crowd of fashion aficionados looking first one way and then another to take in all the new fashions.
We featured eight collections from innovative designers in Hungary, Denmark, the US, Canada, and Costa Rica. We also had international fashion designers Este & Chlo by Henry Picado, who was head designer for Bob Mackie. Each designer shared the stage with other designers, dancers, singers, models, and artists.
Guests saw live musical performances juxtaposed with runway shows and could also retreat to the lounges we set up to enjoy international cuisines. We had Project Runway makeup artist Kim Baker and famed hair salon SCK on hand for consultation.
The Uwi Twins were originally from Rwanda and now design out of Canada. They created a line of “High Fashion Paris Streetwear meets African Luxury.” Another designing duo we presented is behind Cristalle, a new bridal line for millennials. They’re based out of New York and feature the creations of Ecuadorian designer Cristina Marulanda and Argentinian fashion designer Alejandro Trucco.
We even had members of the off-Broadway hit ‘Stomp’ perform original pieces for the show, where I also introduced Haute House’s Incubator Program. That’s an initiative connecting fashion students with industry experts.
The finale was a rainbow of sexy, gypsy-inspired, ultra femine dresses from Hungarian designer Makany Marta. Eighty models took over the three-tiered runway as night fell on Manhattan.
The Journey Fashion Festival looks to level Fashion Week’s traditionally exclusionary playing field, and to give these gifted designers, the fashion industry, and the public, the voice that has been missing, and we hope you can be with us at our next show! — By Malena Belafonte